Friday, May 25, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 4:23-24

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 4:23-24
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr
“Rabbi Shimon the son of Elazar would say: Do not appease your friend at the height of his anger; do not comfort him while his dead still lies before him; do not ask him about his vow the moment he makes it; and do not endeavor to see him at the time of his degradation.

Samuel the Small would say: "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice; when he stumbles, let your heart not be gladdened. Lest God see, and it will displeasing in His eyes, and He will turn His wrath from him [to you]" (Proverbs 24:17-18).”

Tact is one of the greatest allies you can have in life for dealing with family, friends and enemies. Do not be self righteous and spout off Torah when one falls, but place yourself in the others shoes and ask yourself how would you want to be approached? Just being there in silence is enough to comfort a mourner. Helping another while keeping their dignity in tact is one of the greatest things you can do to show love to another. We can be glad and rejoice that an enemy has not overcome us, but we are to pity an enemy when he falls, this is also an act of great love, for God is no respecter of person and He loves your enemy just as much as He loves you. So we too, as imitators of God as dear children (Eph. 5:1) we too ought to show love and compassion towards our enemies. 

-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr